I'd like to call your attention to two new information resources on the web.
"Social" as a business tool. First, my friend and former colleague Nilofer Merchant has written an ebook on the role of "social" tools in business strategy and operations. It's called "11 Rules for Creating Value in the Social Era," and is published through Harvard Business Review. In the book, Nilofer addresses a flaw in thinking that we saw in many businesses while we were consulting at Rubicon: when you say "social," most established companies think of a new medium for marketing their products, like a new form of advertising. So they assign social responsibility to their marketing team, and treat it as a method to shove one-way messages into the eyes and ears of customers.
But some companies, especially startups, are learning to integrate the full range of what we call "social" tools deeply into all of their business processes and decision-making. It requires a fundamental rethinking of everything you expect a business to do. To give you one very minor example from the startup I'm involved in, when you have a small team and Skype, do you really need to pay for office space and the time involved in commuting every day? Do you even need all your team members to live in the same country?
It sounds simple to folks who live online, but you'd be amazed by how hard it is for an established company, even a tech company, to rethink its business processes.
Nilofer's book is, as she says, a "quick read" designed to help you rethink business from a social perspective. You can learn more here.
Richard Windsor Unchained. In this age of tweets and shared videos, I'm delighted to see a new old-fashioned blog on the mobile industry. Richard Windsor has been for a long time one of my favorite financial analysts covering mobile. His short bullet-point e-mails analyzing earnings reports were always pungent and on-point, and since he's based in London he's outside the Silicon Valley groupthink. Richard recently left Nomura and is now free to share his opinions online, in a new blog here.
An excerpt from his recent comments on RIM:
"• RIMM also managed to grow the subscriber base by 2m to 80m but the mix and quality of these subscribers is falling fast despite this quarter’s blip.
• Out go the high spending corporate executives spending $100+ per month and in come the teenage texters in Indonesia spending more like $5 a month."